There does seem to be a correlation between homework and standardized test scores, but (a) it isn't strong, meaning that homework doesn't explain much of the variance in scores, (b) one prominent researcher, timothy keith, who did find a solid correlation, returned to the topic. Third, when homework is related to test scores, the connection tends to be strongest - or, actually, least tenuous - with math. If homework turns out to be unnecessary for students to succeed in that subject, it's probably unnecessary everywhere. Along comes a new study, then, that focuses on the neighborhood where you'd be most likely to find a positive effect if one was there to be found: math and science homework in high school. Like most recent studies, this one by Adam Maltese and his colleagues3 doesn't provide rich descriptive analyses of what students and teachers are doing. Thousands of students are asked one question - how much time do you spend on homework? and statistical tests are then performed to discover if there's a relationship between that number and how they fared in their classes and on standardized tests.
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Tai, success in Introductory college Physics: The role of High School Preparation, Science Education 85 2001: 111-36. see chapter 4 (Studies Show — or do they?) of my book the homework myth (Cambridge, ma: da capo, 2006 an adaptation of which appears as Abusing Research: The Study of Homework and Other Examples, Phi delta kappan, september 2006. On the alleged value of practice, see the homework myth,. 106-18, also available at /9dXqCj). A brand-new study on the academic effects of homework offers not only some intriguing results but also a lesson on how to read desk a study - and a reminder of the importance of doing just that: reading studies (carefully) rather than relying on summaries. Let's start by reviewing what we know from earlier investigations.1 First, no research has ever found a benefit to assigning homework (of any kind or in any amount) in elementary school. In fact, there isn't even a positive correlation between, on the one hand, having younger children do some homework (vs. Less and, on the other hand, any measure of achievement. If we're making 12-year-olds, much less five-year-olds, do homework, it's either because we're misinformed about what the evidence says or because we think kids ought to have to do homework despite what the evidence says. Second, even at the high school level, the research supporting homework hasn't been particularly persuasive.summary
This bias might seem a bit surprising in the case of the studys second author, robert. he had contributed earlier to another study whose results similarly ended up raising questions about the value of homework. . Students enrolled in college physics courses were surveyed to determine whether any features of their high school physics courses were now of use to them. . At first a very small relationship was found between the amount of homework that students had had in high school and driver how well they were currently faring. . But once the researchers controlled for other variables, such as the type of classes they had taken, that relationship disappeared, just as it had for keith (see note 2). . The researchers then studied a much larger population of students in college science classes and found the same thing: Homework simply didnt help. . Sadler and Robert.
see harris cooper, jorgianne civey robinson, and Erika. Patall, does Homework Improve academic Achievement?: a true synthesis of Research, review of Educational Research 76 (2006 1-62. to put it the other way around, studies finding the biggest effect are those that capture less of what goes on in the real world by virtue of being write so brief. . view a small, unrepresentative slice of a childs life and it may appear that homework makes a contribution to achievement; keep watching, and that contribution is eventually revealed to be illusory. See data provided — but not interpreted this way — by cooper, The battle over Homework, 2nd. (Thousand oaks, ca: Corwin, 2001). Even the title of their article reflects this: They ask When Is Homework worth the time? Rather than Is Homework worth the time? .
Lets put these arguments aside for now, even though they ought to be (but rarely are) included in any discussion of the topic. Cool and Timothy. Keith, testing a model of School learning: Direct and Indirect Effects on Academic Achievement, contemporary Educational Psychology 16 (1991 28-44. Tai, and Xitao fan, When Is Homework worth the time? . evaluating the Association Between Homework and Achievement in High School Science and Math, The high School journal, october/november 2012: 52-72. . Other research has found little or no correlation between how much homework students report doing and how much homework their parents say they. . When you use the parents estimates, the correlation between homework and achievement disappears. .
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Frankly, it surprised me, too. . When you measure achievement in terms of grades, you expect to see a positive result — not because homework is academically beneficial but because the same teacher who gives the assignments evaluates the students who complete them, and the final grade is often based. even if homework were a complete waste of time, how could it not be positively related to course grades? And yet it wasnt. . even in high school. . The study zeroed in on specific course grades, which represents a methodological improvement, and the moral may be: The better the research, the less likely one is to find any benefits from homework. (Thats assignment not a surprising proposition for a careful reader of reports in this field. .
we manali got a hint of that from Timothy keiths reanalysis and also from the fact that longer homework studies tend to find less of an effect.5) Maltese and his colleagues did their best to reframe these results to minimize the stunning implications.6 like others. But if you read the results rather than just the authors spin on them — which you really need to do with the work of others working in this field as well7 — youll find that theres not much to prop up the belief that. The assumption that teachers are just assigning homework badly, that wed start to see meaningful results if only it were improved, is harder and harder to justify with each study thats published. If experience is any guide, however, many people will respond to these results by repeating platitudes about the importance of practice8, or by complaining that anyone who doesnt think kids need homework is coddling them and failing to prepare them for the real world (read: . Those open to evidence, however, have been presented this fall with yet another finding that fails to find any meaningful benefit even when the study is set up to give homework every benefit of the doubt. Its important to remember that some people object to homework for reasons that arent related to the dispute about whether research might show that homework provides academic benefits. . They argue that (a) six hours a day of academics are enough, and kids should have the chance after school to explore other interests and develop in other ways — or be able simply to relax in the same way that most adults like.
Study looked at the effect on test scores and on grades. . They emphasized the latter, but lets get the former out of the way first. Was there a correlation between the amount of homework that high school students reported doing and their scores on standardized math and science tests? . Yes, and it was statistically significant but very modest: Even assuming the existence of a causal relationship, which is by no means clear, one or two hours worth of homework every day buys you two or three points on a test. Is that really worth the frustration, exhaustion, family conflict, loss of time for other activities, and potential diminution of interest in learning? . And how meaningful a measure were those tests in the first place, since, as the authors concede, theyre timed measures of mostly mechanical skills? .
(Thus, a headline that reads Study finds homework boosts achievement can be translated as A relentless regimen of after-school drill-and-skill can raise scores a wee bit on tests of rote learning.) But it was grades, not tests, that Maltese and his colleagues really cared about. . They were proud of having looked at transcript data in order to figure out the exact grade a student received in each class that he or she completed so they could compare that to how much homework the student did. . Previous research has looked only at students overall grade-point averages. And the result of this fine-tuned investigation? . There was no relationship whatsoever between time spent on homework and course grade, and no substantive difference in grades between students who complete homework and those who do not. This result clearly caught the researchers off-guard. .
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Theres no good reason for such a striking discrepancy, nor do the authors offer any explanation. . They just move right along — even though those estimates raise troubling questions about the whole project, and about all homework studies that are based on self-report. . Which number is more accurate? . Or are both of them way off? . Theres no way of knowing. And because all the conclusions are tied to that number, all the conclusions may be completely invalid.4 But lets pretend that we really do know how much homework students. . Did doing letter it make any difference? . The maltese.
Along comes a new study, then, that focuses on the neighborhood where youd be most likely to find a positive effect if one eulogy was there to be found: math and science homework in high school. . like most recent studies, this one by Adam Maltese and his colleagues3 doesnt provide rich descriptive analyses of what students and teachers are doing. . Rather, it offers an aerial view, the kind preferred by economists, relying on two large datasets (from the national Education Longitudinal Study nels and the Education Longitudinal Study els). Thousands of students are asked one question — how much time do you spend on homework? — and statistical tests are then performed to discover if theres a relationship between that number and how they fared in their classes and on standardized tests. Its easy to miss one interesting result in this study that appears in a one-sentence aside. . When kids in these two similar datasets were asked how much time they spent on math homework each day, those in the nels study said 37 minutes, whereas those in the els study said 60 minutes. .
five-year-olds, do homework, its either because were misinformed about what the evidence says or because we think kids ought to have to do homework despite what the evidence says. Second, even at the high school level, the research supporting homework hasnt been particularly persuasive. . There does seem to be a correlation between homework and standardized test scores, but (a) it isnt strong, meaning that homework doesnt explain much of the variance in scores, (b) one prominent researcher, timothy keith, who did find a solid correlation, returned to the topic. (take 10 seconds to see if you can come up with other variables that might be driving both of these things.). Third, when homework is related to test scores, the connection tends to be strongest — or, actually, least tenuous — with math. . If homework turns out to be unnecessary for students to succeed in that subject, its probably unnecessary everywhere.
By clicking continue below and using our sites or applications, you agree that we and our third party advertisers can: transfer your personal data to the United States or other countries, and process your personal data to serve you with personalized ads, subject to your. Eu data subject Requests. Alfie kohn writes about what a new homework study really says — and what it doesnt say. He is the author of 12 books about education and human behavior, including The Schools Our Children Deserve, the. Homework, myth, and feel-Bad true Education And Other Contrarian Essays on Children schooling. He lives (actually) in the boston area and (virtually) at fiekohn. By alfie kohn, a brand-new study on the academic effects of homework offers not only some intriguing results but also a lesson on how to read a study — and a reminder of the importance of doing just that: reading studies (carefully) rather than relying. Lets start by reviewing what we know from earlier investigations.1 First, no research has ever found a benefit to assigning homework (of any kind or in any amount) in elementary school. .
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